Partnership drives mindfulness in schools

Partnership drives mindfulness in schools

A partnership between a diversified property company and an app-based meditation program has given twelve schools in Melbourne’s east free access to an evidence-based initiative that teaches children about the benefits of mindfulness.

Research shows that cultivating skills that are grounded in mindfulness can help young people improve their mental health and help them form positive friendships, manage difficult emotions, and get unstuck from bad habits.

The three-year partnership between Frasers Property and Smiling Mind has reached a total of 72 schools around Australia, with more students set to benefit in the coming months.

“Our organisation looks at ways that Positive Education can increase the wellbeing and educational outcomes of students in Maroondah, especially through targeted wellbeing initiatives such as mindfulness,” Edwina Ricci, Project Manager at the Maroondah Positive Education Network said.

“What we love about the Smiling Mind School Program is that it has the potential to reach every teacher and every child. Through the support of Frasers Property, twelve local schools have been able to access the program for free, which is a great outcome for everyone”.

The 12 Maroondah schools to sign up for the Smiling Mind program to date are:

  • Bayswater North Primary School
  • Bayswater West Primary School
  • Bayswater South Primary School
  • Croydon Hills Primary School
  • Great Ryrie Primary School
  • Heathmont College
  • Kalinda Primary School
  • Marlborough Primary School
  • Mullum Primary School
  • Ringwood Heights Primary School
  • Tinternvale Primary School
  • Warranwood Primary School

As part of the program, each school was given free access to Smiling Mind’s professional development training for all teachers as well as a set of its Mindfulness Curriculums; a framework and resource that equips teachers with the skills they need to practically teach social and emotional learning capabilities in the classroom.

Dr Addie Wootten, Smiling Mind CEO, said mindfulness tools are extremely important in helping people cope with challenges and are even more important when facing extremely difficult circumstances such as a global pandemic.

“Now, more than ever, teachers, students and parents are the ones who need access to tools that will support them through these challenging times and help them build awareness and resilience around mental health,” Wootten said.

“We are delighted to see new schools signing on for our program during a time when it’s needed most. The more people we can educate about the benefits of mindfulness and provide strategies and tools to incorporate these into the classroom, the better”.

Ranna Alkadamani, general manager of people and culture at Frasers Property says it is wonderful to see the partnership with Smiling Mind have such an impact at a local level.

“This is a good example of how important community networks are and it's fantastic that our support has been able to reach so many schools in Maroondah,” Alkadamani said.

“Our work is about building resilient communities from the ground up and schools are a huge part of well-connected communities, so this is one way we have been able to bring long-term benefits to children.”